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Old 11-18-2004, 10:08 PM   #121
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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
I'm a Lutheran at heart, although I attend a non-denominational Christian church. I've read Luther's Small Cathechism, and he's very bright. The only problem I have with denominations is that people spend way too much time preaching Calvinism, Catholicism, or even Lutheranism, much more than Christianity. They all have potential to become an approach of their own, it's not what Jesus' message was about. The gift is simply God's love, which should be talked about much more than God's punishment.
the gospel is the most important part of what the church should be preaching...however, the law needs to be a part of that too. a person can't repent of sins when they don't know that they need forgiveness, and that is what the law provides. it is written on our hearts in order to provide us with a mirror. knowing the ten commandments allows us to see that we are not upholding them, and can never hope to. and this means that we are sinners, and the wages of sin is death. to me, this can only bring a feeling of utter despair. the pain and suffering that comes from knowing that i deserve to go to hell.

it is at this point that the gospel comes into play. we find that our sins have been forgiven, if we repent and believe in God. that Christ came and died, and took our place, suffered hell so that we don't have to! and this is when you place your trust in God. this is the ultimate comfort, but can only be reached through the ultimate despair.
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:40 PM   #122
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Originally posted by shrmn8rpoptart

the gospel is the most important part of what the church should be preaching...however, the law needs to be a part of that too. a person can't repent of sins when they don't know that they need forgiveness, and that is what the law provides. it is written on our hearts in order to provide us with a mirror. knowing the ten commandments allows us to see that we are not upholding them, and can never hope to. and this means that we are sinners, and the wages of sin is death. to me, this can only bring a feeling of utter despair. the pain and suffering that comes from knowing that i deserve to go to hell.

it is at this point that the gospel comes into play. we find that our sins have been forgiven, if we repent and believe in God. that Christ came and died, and took our place, suffered hell so that we don't have to! and this is when you place your trust in God. this is the ultimate comfort, but can only be reached through the ultimate despair.
You have a set of well-developed points. I like your post a lot, and yes, the law needs to be preached. The problem I see is that some of the people on this forum who aren't believers think they're being forced because some of us go with the fear approach. People will only buy that for so long, if they buy it at all, before losing faith.

We should definately preach the beauty of forgiveness. High five on that point. I just have a problem with the fear tactic, and as a Christian, I find it immoral to flat out tell someone that they're headed straight for Hell. We should preach about Hell when they've accepted God's love, so that they will appreciate Jesus' sacrifice as much as we do. They will indeed be thankful.

Feel free to disagree, many of us have different views on how to discuss the gospel on a worldly atmosphere. I for one choose not to use the fear approach. Look at what Mrs. Edge's response was:

"People also talk a lot about just "accepting" Jesus and all this....well, I find it very hard to just believe in something because someone tells you to. It's like an arranged marriage and your parents say "here is your husband...go love him" I just can't be force fed such things."

She's in the dark because we haven't made it clear on how great God loves us, no matter what we've done. I find it very possible for someone like her to find Jesus in her life, and find logic in God's word.
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:09 PM   #123
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Originally posted by Mrs. Edge
Holy moly! I just got back from the ballet and this thread is HUGE! I'm wayyyy too tired to read it all in detail, but someone asked me if I was willing to put my ego aside and believe.

All I really wanted to know was if God would be willing to "get over it" if someone was a non believer and forgive them. I think if he supposedly loves us that much, he SHOULD! I don't see why more people don't agree with me on this.


People also talk a lot about just "accepting" Jesus and it's a piece of cake and here is this gift why don't you take it etc etc...Well it IS a difficult thing to do. When you are a kid and brought up with this stuff it may be no problem but as an adult....well, I find it very hard to just believe in something because someone tells you to. It's like an arranged marriage and your parents say "here is your husband...go love him" I just can't be force fed such things.

I just don't get it. And I think it's grossly unfair that if I were killed tomorrow I would have to be punished forever simply for how I was brought up and for having a questioning mind.
I agree with you. It makes absolutely no sense to me that a GOD should be so insecure as to require such slavish devotion...I mean it's a bit like the teacher who wants perfect handwriting but doesn't give a rats ass what thoughts and ideas are in the paper.

And to me any religion or belief system that puts itself up to be the only way (or "the one true way") into heaven (or salvation, or what have you) is false. Any god worth it's salt would be able to create many belief systems for the various peoples of the world...each of them valid ways to heaven (or whatever). In fact, I think the real way ito heaven (if it even exists) is to live the best life possible...essentially, just doing the best you can. And I think everyone, not just Christians (or people of any other faith) is eligible.


A post from Anirban back on page 6 had a perspective I rather like...a more eastern view of god.

Quote:
i'm trying to bring in a different perspective here. but what if everyone's concept of an omniscent God were taken from a different angle. instead of a being in the sky with a beard who knows everything you're feeling, thinking, etc ... what if God WAS those feelings/thoughts. maybe this omniscent God is really an awesome spiritual force that is composed of everyone's thoughts, hearts, feelings, and mind, no matter what faith or religion they prescribe to. i think God is sort of a continuum of everything, physical and metaphysical, that binds everything into one powerful force. this theory/belief allows for an omniscent God and also addresses the age old question of how people's thoughts/beliefs affect their afterlife and how god views them. this singular force that binds everything would allow for different perspectives of faith/religion/lack-of-religion/atheism/etc.

just a thought from a different perspective/background...
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:13 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
You have a set of well-developed points. I like your post a lot, and yes, the law needs to be preached. The problem I see is that some of the people on this forum who aren't believers think they're being forced because some of us go with the fear approach. People will only buy that for so long, if they buy it at all, before losing faith.

We should definately preach the beauty of forgiveness. High five on that point. I just have a problem with the fear tactic, and as a Christian, I find it immoral to flat out tell someone that they're headed straight for Hell. We should preach about Hell when they've accepted God's love, so that they will appreciate Jesus' sacrifice as much as we do. They will indeed be thankful.

Feel free to disagree, many of us have different views on how to discuss the gospel on a worldly atmosphere. I for one choose not to use the fear approach. Look at what Mrs. Edge's response was:

"People also talk a lot about just "accepting" Jesus and all this....well, I find it very hard to just believe in something because someone tells you to. It's like an arranged marriage and your parents say "here is your husband...go love him" I just can't be force fed such things."

She's in the dark because we haven't made it clear on how great God loves us, no matter what we've done. I find it very possible for someone like her to find Jesus in her life, and find logic in God's word.
it seems like God is definitely calling her. that is why i recommended she read a gospel. you get the whole message right there. and the Word is the means that God has chosen to reveal Himself to us, you can't go wrong.

and you are definitely right. the most important job of the church is to preach the gospel, because this is where the doctrine of salvation comes from! the gospel is what seperates Christianity from all other doctrines. every other religious sect is moralistic, that is you have to do certain things, and follow a certain set of rules to achieve the goal. with Christianity, you do nothing! Christians admit that they cannot live up to the rules that they are supposed to. so how does a Christian believe they will attain salvation? they believe that someone has come to fulfill the law that they could not, and then to suffer the punnishment that they deserved, so that in God's eyes, all are made pure through Christ's blood! Christianity is the only religion that at its very core, is all about love instead of morality.

my point about preaching the law is that it can't be forgotten. too many churches today have turned their back on the law, because people are uncomfortable with being told that they are a sinner. i know that at least in lutheran liturgy, the church service starts with an admission that we are sinners, and deserve God's punnishment, and ask God to forgive us. but many churches have done away with this because it hurts people's pride to admit that they are wrong. and when this happens, all you hear about is God's love, but there is no mention of why a person would need His love. the law is the answer to that question.
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:19 PM   #125
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Originally posted by indra


It makes absolutely no sense to me that a GOD should be so insecure as to require such slavish devotion...I mean it's a bit like the teacher who wants perfect handwriting but doesn't give a rats ass what thoughts and ideas are in the paper.



your concept of Christianity is completely backwards from the way it truly is. the ideas and thoughts (BELIEFS) are what counts!!! the handwriting is important, but once you get the beliefs down, the handwriting will come, and will be a reflection of the thoughts and ideas.
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:24 PM   #126
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"I'm a Buddhist, I'm a Muslim, I'm a Christian. I'm whatever you want me to be...it all comes down to the same thing," he tells Kroft. Jim Carrey says he believes they are all the same God and it is this conviction and spirituality that make him happy.
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:31 PM   #127
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so the only real point in life is to be happy? even for a secularist (who i think would tell you that the point of life is to make a difference in the world), i'd say that this would be a pretty crappy goal...if your whole life comes down to finding personal happiness, then i'd say the vast majority of people are never going to get there. the whole point of religion is that you are longing and desiring and striving for something outside of yourself. i'm sorry, but if all you're looking for in religion is happiness, then you better start looking somewhere else.
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:42 PM   #128
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If to be happy

Is to be at peace with oneself and others
I highly recommend it.



Longing and desiring and striving for something outside of yourself will lead to nothing
If one is not at peace with oneself, to be happy is a good thing.
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:46 PM   #129
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Hmm, this is getting all really interesting. Having lived as a straight-nosed christian for about about 10ish years of my life (the first five i was too young, and the last five years I've been all over the map) I hear so much of my old pastors and myself in what some people are saying here. I would love it if a christian would admit that the Bible - while it might be inspired by God - is certainly not the answer-to-all. Nor is it infalliable. Look, the first two chapters of Genesis contain at least one contradiction concerning the creation order of animals and humans. Either God over-looked that (thus he is not perfect), made a mistake (thus he is not perfect), or God did not write this, rather he inspired it.
With that said, it should also be noted that just because we're not going to take Calvin's views does not mean the moral responsibility issue is off target.
Some people have likened God to the great clock-maker. Let's just say this is true and that our universe is similar to a clock. When something goes wrong in the clock do we blame the pieces inside for messing up? Or, do we blame the clock maker? It's true i may say, darn you watch, but it would be crazy for me to really blame the clock (or watch) itself.
Very well, you conceede, the world is not like a watch or a clock because in our universe people are responsible. But, how can we be if God did set in motion everything. Everything you have ever done is a result of God setting into motion this universe, life, etc. Did you choose where you were going to be born? Did you choose what sort of genetic make-up you'd come with? People are always saying we are what we are based on nature and/or nurture.
If i'm sounding like an asshole i'm really sorry. I just feel like we're settling here for trite easy answers.
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:49 PM   #130
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this is also where i say, i know U2 fans have the ability to transcend trite answers...you guys all are really amazing....humbled to be allowed to converse in such a forum
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Old 11-19-2004, 12:12 AM   #131
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Originally posted by blueyedpoet
Some people have likened God to the great clock-maker. Let's just say this is true and that our universe is similar to a clock. When something goes wrong in the clock do we blame the pieces inside for messing up? Or, do we blame the clock maker? It's true i may say, darn you watch, but it would be crazy for me to really blame the clock (or watch) itself.
Very well, you conceede, the world is not like a watch or a clock because in our universe people are responsible. But, how can we be if God did set in motion everything. Everything you have ever done is a result of God setting into motion this universe, life, etc. Did you choose where you were going to be born? Did you choose what sort of genetic make-up you'd come with? People are always saying we are what we are based on nature and/or nurture.
If i'm sounding like an asshole i'm really sorry. I just feel like we're settling here for trite easy answers.
the free-will that i proposed is this (if the analogy of the clock continues to hold true): God did in fact create the clock. he created every part of it, and found that the clock was good. then he created the "humans" which were to be the crowning creation of his clock, so much so that they were created in His image. and when the creation was finished, everything worked perfectly. every part was in-sync, there were no flaws, and God found it to be good.

however, God gave the humans the ability to choose between right and wrong. that is, they were able to choose whether or not they operated in-sync with the rest of the clock. for a while it did not even occur to them to do anything other than operate in-sync. only after they were tempted by someone outside of the clock, did the choice appear to them. and they chose to operate out-of-sync. when they did this, it through the entire clock into turmoil. now the parts did not always operate correctly. because of this, the operation of the clock became very difficult, and pain was introduced to the clock. and above all, when the workings of the clock began to clash with each other, the humans became damaged to the point where they could not repair themselves and could no longer operate perfectly within the clock.

(at this point i would argue that the blame does lie with the parts. they did not break as a result of random chance or ill-construction. they broke because they chose to operate in a manner that led to their breaking. obviously, they are to blame for this)

i'm sorry, if you want, i will continue with this analogy tomorrow, as it is 1 am, and i have class at 8am and am desperately tired. i believe that i did address and answer you original question however.
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Old 11-19-2004, 12:20 AM   #132
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Ok, let's continue tomorrow. If anyone else wants to continue to hash it out that'd be great for a lil' while....have a good night's rest 'poptart
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Old 11-19-2004, 03:34 AM   #133
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There is no god, there are quarks, leptons, bosons which all interact in the mish-mash of matter and energy known as the universe. Fundamental physical laws allow the formation of atomic nuclei, which follows up the chain to create molecules. In this universe amoung the trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions stretching into the infinite ammount of permutations of particles a very particular set of chemical compounds appear on a planet and from those a replicating molecule is formed, and it assimilates into other weird chemical strucuters eventually forming the first celluar life, and then over billions of years replication with difference under population pressures leads to more complex life forms until 4 billion years later a species of insane apes get up and start multiplying in number and they keep doing so to this day, civilization and all. God is an easy answer.
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:48 AM   #134
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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
I'm a Lutheran at heart, although I attend a non-denominational Christian church. I've read Luther's Small Cathechism, and he's very bright. The only problem I have with denominations is that people spend way too much time preaching Calvinism, Catholicism, or even Lutheranism, much more than Christianity. They all have potential to become an approach of their own, it's not what Jesus' message was about. The gift is simply God's love, which should be talked about much more than God's punishment.
I am really not that much into denominations. My family is Protestant, mostly Methodist although go back a few generations and everyone was Church of Scotland, or Presbyterian. I do believe that the Body and Blood of Christ is in the Eucharist at mass. My family doesn't tell me that I'm nuts for believing this, and I don't care that they don't believe this. I don't think this is separating any of us from God.
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:54 AM   #135
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There is no god, there are quarks, leptons, bosons which all interact in the mish-mash of matter and energy known as the universe. Fundamental physical laws allow the formation of atomic nuclei, which follows up the chain to create molecules. In this universe amoung the trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions stretching into the infinite ammount of permutations of particles a very particular set of chemical compounds appear on a planet and from those a replicating molecule is formed, and it assimilates into other weird chemical strucuters eventually forming the first celluar life, and then over billions of years replication with difference under population pressures leads to more complex life forms until 4 billion years later a species of insane apes get up and start multiplying in number and they keep doing so to this day, civilization and all. God is an easy answer
And this unbelievably complex human, with all it's spiritual, emontional complexity, it's yearning for God (yes, look at the stats) is all by chance, against REALLY BIG ODDS!

Uh, chance is an easy answer.
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